Rite of Passage: The Music Man
For Sam Desoto (CFA’19), family is “the cornerstone of who I am”
BU recently welcomed 3,625 freshmen, each with a unique journey to campus. Photojournalist Jackie Ricciardi wanted to capture them as they prepared to launch this new chapter. So over the summer, she traveled from Minnesota to New York to Boston’s suburbs to photograph several members of the Class of 2019. They welcomed her into their homes and shared their dreams, fears, and the ways their families have shaped their lives. Parents spoke candidly about their anxieties and aspirations for their children. In our series “Rite of Passage,” BU Today brings you four students’ stories.
Sam Desoto describes himself as “a loud ball of happiness” who loves spending time with people. His other love? Music. He picked up the saxophone at age 10. An accomplished musician, he can also play the piano and the ukulele. Enrolled in the College of Fine Arts School of Music, the Long Island native is majoring in voice performance and hopes to one day teach music to elementary, junior high, or high school students.
“Music has been the most beautiful thing in my life,” says Desoto (CFA’19), “and I’d like nothing more than to share it with others by teaching it and performing it.”
He is the youngest of four boys—all of whom still live at home—in a close-knit family. In fact, he even wrote his college essay about his brothers. He is especially close to his brother Andrew, 21, who has Asperger’s syndrome. “I easily call him my best friend,” Desoto says. “He’s always so caring and enthusiastic that I love spending time with him.”
On Vocal Craft
“ It delves into everything about music and how beautiful it is.”
Sam DesotoAudio — 33 Seconds
On Missing his Family
“Those moments [with] my family have made me who I am.”
Sam DesotoAudio — 27 Seconds
On Going to BU
“ I’m going to love it to death. It’s going to be so scary, but I’m going to love that.”
Sam DesotoAudio — 34 Seconds
Rite of Passage
November 17, 2016
Rite of Passage 2016: Accepting Limitations
November 11, 2016
Rite of Passage 2016: A Desire to Help Others
October 31, 2016
Rite of Passage 2016: Transforming Loss into Passion
Thanks for this piece, Jackie. The pictures are breathtakingly real. I felt like I was right there with the Desoto family. As a higher education professional, this piece is a powerful reminder of where our students come from – and all that they carry with them. As a parent of young children, my heart aches for Sam and his Mrs. Desoto as they say good-bye for now. Beautiful piece.
This is so moving. Jackie did an amazing job of capturing the closeness of this family and this bittersweet transition in life. This is what I hope for and what I dread. Thanks for such an honest and heartfelt piece. As a parent myself, I knew it would make my tear up, but I did not expect to sob like I did. I can’t wait for more! What a talent Jackie has!
Sam, you have a beautiful, loving family. That is why you are so sweet and caring. As you live your life on campus at BU, you will notice, observe your family has prepared you to leave home because they trust You to grow, develope who you are. The gift you have of music is extraordinary and every time you play you will remember your mom, your dad and brothers, your family because by playing your music, it is what there Love for you is all about.
With my Love,
Magdalen S. Tumandao-Perez
Former BU Parent of
Shari A. Tumandao – May 2014
BU Staff Member
Howard Thurman Center
Thanks so much, Jackie, for this amazing piece. Your portrait of our family is spot on. It will be a keepsake for us all. Sam is adjusting to the crazy life of a freshman while I am doing my best to let him. Do still so miss his humming and drumming , rapping, tapping and singing!
It was wonderful to have you in our home. I look forward to future installments as you examine life at BU through your camera lens!
Thank YOU, Marie and the rest of your family for allowing me to document this important time in your lives. It was such a pleasure meeting you all!
What a beautiful story…I love how the photos and audio bring the story to life. Good Luck Sam…you will be amazing.